Future trends in Cloud Computing (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, Storage & Internal Clouds)


iStock_000018660718Medium_cropCloud computing continues to gain more mainstream adoption as more companies move into the cloud. This article focuses on where the cloud space stands in the market and the future driving trends in these five specific areas: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, Cloud Storage and Private/Internal Clouds.

Commodity Infrastructure as a Service

IaaS

 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is what most IT professionals think about when they talk about the cloud. IaaS is also referred as Cloud Infrastructure service and is considered as the core of cloud computing.

Forrester, an analyst firm predicts it will generate greater revenue potential which can clearly be seen from Amazon Web Services, the undisputed commodity IaaS revenue leader. An estimate of the revenue development of Amazon Web Services cloud computing and hosting solutions from 2012 until 2015 is 2 in 2012, 3.8 in 2013, 6.2 in 2014, and 8.8 in 2015 (in billions). AWS reveals that its S3 storage service hosts doubled as it now hosts more than 262 billion objects.

Rackspace, the second largest commodity IaaS provider also reveals an increase in its revenue. With its Cloud Servers and Cloud Files, they reported an 18.1 percent increase from $31.4 million to $37.1 million for the first quarter of 2011. In recent months, investors have gotten less optimistic about Rackspace earnings, cutting 20% from their first-quarter estimates and 10% to 15% from their full-year 2014 and 2015 projections. The stock has plunged, falling 29% since early February.

Both AWS and Rackspace’s rapid revenue growth can be credited from the growing usage of the IaaS. Despite this reported growth, some are still reluctant to consider commodity IaaS for mission-critical applications in the cloud. A recent survey showed that 52 percent responded that security concerns are holding them back from using the cloud.

Large organizations rely on commodity IaaS for testing and developing new applications, and for hosting applications that are less-critical, while small businesses use it for mission-critical applications.

Future Trend

Commodity IaaS will continue to shape up and take on more enterprise workloads. Enterprise-focused clouds will look to further specialize their offerings. Survey respondents cited the need for more insights from operational data and more control. Cloud users and providers cited “analytics” and “automation” as a service they’d like to have.

Enterprise IaaS

Providing on-demand access to computing and storage resources is the main focus of Enterprise IaaS clouds. One difference between the two is the difficulty to distinguish enterprise IaaS adoption rates and market size from those of commodity IaaS. Enterprise IaaS clouds don’t need to attract a number of users as they are dealing mostly with revenues from larger deals.

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Even though adoption rates and market size can be hard to distinguish at Enterprise IaaS, it is still doing fine among its target audience.  Instead of taking the scale-out approach of commodity IaaS, enterprise IaaS providers build their clouds using high-end gear.

One of trend in Enterprise IaaS is running VMware at the hypervisor layer. This aims to capitalize the frequency of VMware within many corporate data centers. A survey of IT executives shows that hybrid cloud as the top priority. Through this, organizations won’t commit entirely to public cloud resources and private cloud resources as they can use either model.

Future Trend

On top of the core enterprise IaaS platform, the entrance of IBM into the enterprise IaaS adds diverse services. This includes tools to enable dynamic application development to advanced analytics services. As part of IBM’s SmartCloud offering, it has promised Hadoop processing service in addition to its existing WebSphere and Cognos services.

For enterprise IaaS providers, one challenge would be to harden their clouds for enterprise applications. In order to attract more enterprise developers, they have to loosen access to their platforms. The hybrid model for IaaS developers could be another option.


Platform as a Service (PaaS)

whatisthecloudpaasIn PaaS, the operating system and application platform, for the most part, are abstracted away from the user (Java or web developer). I say “for the most part” because aspects of the application platform, such as language version or framework, certainly matter to the developer but underlying aspects of the platform that aren’t exposed in the form of APIs, programmatic interfaces, or language features don’t.

One of the greatest benefits of a PaaS is its ability to create a bright line between what’s “operations” and what’s “development”. In other words, what’s “yours” and what’s “theirs”.

Things get complicated and expensive when that line blurs: developers demand tweaks to kernel settings, particular hardware, etc. which fly in the face of any standardization or automation effort. Operations, on the other hand, creates inflexible rules for development platforms that prevent developers from doing their jobs. PaaS decouples these two, and permits each group to do what they’re good at.

paas-model

If you’ve outsourced your operations or development, this problem gets worse because any idiosyncrasies on the ops or the development side create friction when sourcing work to alternate vendors.

By using a PaaS, you make it perfectly clear who’s responsible for what: above the PaaS line, developers can do whatever they like in the context of the PaaS platform, and it will automatically comply with operations standards. Below the line, operations can implement whatever they like, choose whatever vendors they like, as long as they’re delivering a functional PaaS environment.

We spend a lot of time talking about why PaaS is great for developers. I think it’s even better for procurements, architecture, and budget.

The huge financial investment that PaaS gained in the past years proved that is continues to gain popularity. Everyone needs a service that promises to fundamentally alter the way applications are developed, deployed and managed.  Still, it remains to be dependent on individual developers, web startups and enterprise developers. Developers are flocking to Paas for their enterprise applications.

Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform is at the center of its cloud efforts that has attracted a number of customers. Among them are Toyota, the Associated Press and Intuit.

On the first half of 2011, PaaS providers address the concern about lack of control and lack of choice. Based from the survey, “Complexity” is the major issue that PaaS seeks to eliminate; followed by Interoperability” and “Lock-in.”

Future Trend

The convergence of these trends – the investments by large vendors, the advances in control and choice, and the increasing popularity of web and mobile applications – are the biggest drivers of PaaS adoption.

Microsoft’s success with Windows Azure suggests the possibility of success for VMware, Red Hat and Salesforce.com as they continue to use PaaS application platforms.

It is also interesting to see Google App Engine as PaaS adoption picks up. Google promises more features will make their way into the standard App Engine.


 Software as Service

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In terms of users and revenues, Software as a Service, has the biggest share. Software and services on demand debuted in fourth place on the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) 2010 list of top 10 policy and technology priorities for CIOs.

One good example is the CRM service of Salesforce.com’s multi-billion dollar business. SAP and Oracle are also embracing SaaS for their heavy-duty applications.

Some reported that SaaS has inspired Everything as a Service, where any IT process or application or business function is available as a service.  Gartner estimated SaaS to reach $10.7 billion in 2011. Another analyst firm, IDC, predicts a $72.9 billion cloud services market by 2015.

GigOM’s survey reveals that 61 percent derive their revenues primarily from SaaS subscription fees; and 74 percent identified a SaaS offering as the cloud computing services they are using.

Business strategy and customer expectation

CxOs (CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, CTO, and so on) want to improve their business processes and to have more profitable operations. Their expectations for cloud computing are:

  • Business process standardization, which is matured at the global level
  • Total cost of ownership (TCO) reduction (effect of standardization, sharing and automation)
  • Risk mitigation of entrance of new markets

CxOs want to increase their revenue from the international business area. In this case, the SaaS vendors have already been able to service the global area, and have standardized the business processes within the industry of their target business area. Furthermore, their industry frequently increases alliances with many companies. The international industry standards become complex business processes because alliances increase. Customers cannot modify the IT system themselves without the help from the SaaS vendor.  Also, they expect the TCO reduction by third-party IT management. Customers want to both minimize the risk of entrance into new markets, with agility, and also have easy withdrawal.

Microsoft offers a variety of outstanding SaaS services to address the customer needs. Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite delivers a suite of services for hosted communication and collaboration.
Dedicated cloud offerings for organizations can deliver integrated communications with high availability, comprehensive security, and simplified IT management. Microsoft Exchange Online delivers your email with protection, plus calendar and contacts. Microsoft SharePoint Online creates a highly secure, central location for collaboration, content, and workflow. Microsoft Office Communications Online provides real-time, person-to-person communication with text, voice, and video, across agencies. Microsoft Office Live Meeting delivers hosted web conferencing. Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services are attached services that include filtering, archiving, encryption, and continuity. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, with minimal configuration, offers constituent relationship management (CRM) and other extended CRM solutions to help you automate workflow and centralize information. Windows Live services help developers connect their applications, experiences, and customers to more than 500 million Windows Live users.

 

Future Trend

Aside from the endless emergence of new applications, SaaS will focus on integration of data and services. This integration could prove to be a valuable offering that will address the growing number of cloud services.

Most survey results reveal that users of multiple SaaS applications plan to increase their usage over time; which is both a challenge and an opportunity for data-integration vendors.

As SaaS use grows, data virtualization can pick up its momentum by incorporating data from mobile devices and other end-user derived sources. SaaS providers must also find ways to work tightly in integrating data among applications.


 Cloud Storage

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Take control of your files and apps by using unlimited cloud storage. You can access your corporate information anywhere and from any device.

Cloud storage is defined as the independent storage services in the cloud and is the most widely deployed cloud services.  It is currently being used to backup data, although it also serves as primary file- or content-storage options for web applications, like for Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3).

Cloud storage is risk-free as data is already stored elsewhere without the need to be accessed by production applications. However, it is not really good at primary storage as it needs high levels of features, network performance and availability

There are many companies making a name in primary cloud storage. Few of them are, Microsoft SkyDrive (SkyDrive’s upload from PC option includes two-factor authentication to make it safer.) Amazon Cloud Drive, Apple iCloud, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, MediaFire, Mega, SpiderOak, and Ubuntu One

It uses a virtual gateway to route files securely and reliably to cloud storage infrastructure from a number of providers.

Looking forward

The innovation on cloud storage will focus on primary storage for enterprise applications in the cloud. As vendors such as HP and Dell have storage businesses and public clouds, they could benefit from leveraging their storage expertise to make primary cloud storage a reality.

However, companies deciding for primary cloud storage must innovate on data-transport front. It won’t be attractive for customers if they rely only on the public Internet for uploading and downloading primary data.

Cloud storage providers will also push for new privacy regulations.


 Private Cloud

 

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A private cloud is a particular model of cloud computing that involves a distinct and secure cloud based environment in which only the specified client can operate. As with other cloud models, private clouds will provide computing power as a service within a virtualised environment using an underlying pool of physical computing resource. However, under the private cloud model, the cloud (the pool of resource) is only accessible by a single organisation providing greater control and privacy.

cloud-big Private cloud is considered as the delivery model choice of large enterprises and other risk-averse businesses. GigaOM survey reveals 63 percent of respondents utilize private clouds or hybrid clouds as the focus of their cloud strategies. More traditional businesses are also emerging as private-cloud customers.

Over the past years, these four most-prominent private cloud startups – Nimbula, Eucalyptus Systems, Cloud.com and Abiquo – have raise a combined total of $73 million.

It has been noted that there are 2 interesting trends taking place – the advent of PaaS software designed to run on private clouds, and the OpenStack.

Future Trend

Private clouds are here to stay whether as a whole or part of a hybrid cloud environment.  For private cloud vendors, choosing to rely on their partners or building their own features will be a big decision.


Future

Two major trends can be expected in the coming years – advanced hybrid cloud capabilities, and a wave of innovation around higher-level features and specialized functions.

At the end companies with a good balance of centralized and ambient will be the winners in their respective industries because they will be able to lower the cost of their infrastructure and make it faster at the same time. Microsoft, the owner of the distributed desktop OS, is racing towards centralized clouds with Azure, while Google, the king of centralized, is racing towards ambient with Chrome and Android, for instance.

The companies that achieve the right balance of centralized vs. ambient clouds are the ones that will emerge as winners as the young cloud computing industry matures.microsoft-cloud-strategy

As for Windows Azure Infrastructure Services, the goal is to provide customers with scalable on-demand virtual infrastructure so organizations can extend their data centers to the cloud in a secure manner. According to Bill Hilf, Microsoft general manager of Product Management for its cloud computing platform, the new services are about providing IaaS and PaaS, as well as “hybrid cloud scenarios.”

MSFT Cloud Scale

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Microsoft, AWS, and Google  and some of the other cloud players are already at such a scale that small increases in performance or small reductions in cost can make a huge difference in profitability. Ambient clouds that are the most cost effective, and in many cases the best performing. No matter which cloud provider ends up on top, every cloud-connected device you touch is a part of dozens of clouds. It’s up to you to decide which ones.

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Apple’s Latest Product Lineup 2014


Apple is set to release a slew of new products during the third quarter of 2014 according to KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, who often provides reliable information on Apple’s product lineup.

In a 2014 product roadmap, Kuo suggests Apple will introduce its first new product of the year, a lower-cost iMac, during the second quarter. Soon after, during the third quarter, Kuo predicts Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini, followed by an iWatch in two separate sizes, and a 4.7-inch iPhone.

Apple-2014_roadmap
An upgraded Apple TV set-top box will come somewhat later, as will the rumored 12-inch ultra slim MacBook and upgraded Retina MacBook Pros. Later, in the fourth quarter, Apple will introduce the 5.5-inch iPhone, which is said to be delayed due to issues with in-cell display technology. Along with his roadmap, Kuo also gives specific information on each of Apple’s upcoming products.

iWatch

iwatch_concept_apple_2014
iWatch: Kuo believes the iWatch will ship during the end of the third quarter, offering biometric functionality, integration with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and a “fashionable appearance.” As has been previously suggested, he predicts the device will come in two sizes, with a 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch flexible AMOLED display. It will also include a sapphire cover lens, biometric recognition, an NFC chip, wireless charging, a 200 to 250 mAh battery, and a slim and light design. Kuo also believes that Apple will offer the iWatch at multiple price points, with the most expensive version costing upwards of $1,000.


iPhone 6

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iPhone 6: Supporting previous iPhone 6 rumors, Kuo believes the device will come in two sizes: 4.7 and 5.5-inches, with resolutions of 1334×750 (326ppi) and 1920 x 1080 (401 ppi), respectively. Both models will come with an A8 processor, 1GB of RAM, LTPS display panels, optical image stabilization, and Touch ID. Kuo points to a 10 to 20 percent narrower bezel, a 6.5–7.0mm thickness, metal casings, and NFC integration. Mass shipments of the 4.7-inch version are expected in September, with the 5.5-inch version shipping later. Kuo suggests that only the 64GB 5.5-inch version will use sapphire displays.


iPad Air 2

iPad_Air_2
iPad Air 2: The second-generation iPad Air is expected to adopt Touch ID, an A8 processor, and an improved camera with a resolution of eight megapixels. Kuo believes the second iPad Air could come earlier in the year than the previous iPad Air, which was released in October.


iPad mini with Retina Display

ipad-mini-retina-iphone-5s-2
iPad mini with Retina Display: Like the iPad Air, a new Retina mini could gain an A8 processor and Touch ID, but Kuo believes it will retain the same form factor. He also suggests that the older iPad mini with Retina display could be sold at a lower cost.


 12.9-inch iPad Pro

iPad pro
12.9-inch iPad Pro: Kuo believes that Apple is indeed working on a 12.9-inch iPad, but he does not expect it to be launched in 2014.


 12-inch MacBook Air

12 inch macbook air

12-inch MacBook Air: As rumored, Apple is believed to be preparing an ultrathin MacBook Air that incorporates a touchpad without buttons and functions without a fan. It is also expected to include a higher-resolution display.


 iMac for Mid Market

imac 2014

iMac: A lower-priced iMac is believed to be on the horizon, which Kuo says could help boost iMac shipments by up to 23 percent. It could be Apple’s first product launch of the year.


 Apple iTV

Apple iTV

Apple TV: Apple is not expected to launch a full television set this year, but an upgraded set top box with an App Store and motion control technology is expected.

While Kuo’s predictions do include many rumors that have previously surfaced over the past several months from a variety of sources, his roadmap gives a solid overview of what we might expect from Apple in 2014.  We don’t know much about Kuo. He’s not an analyst that appears on TV, or sends out his reports to dozens of reporters. His firm, KGI Securities, is based in Taiwan.

Quick Computer Maintenance – Speed Up your Computer


ambulance1One of the most common complaints heard by IT helpdesks is: “My computer is running too slowly – what can I do?” There are actually a number of reasons why this could be happening, and luckily, a number of ways to solve the problem. Here are our top five recommendations to help boost your desktop or notebook PC’s speed and performance.

1. Clean up your hard drive
A typical hard drive is crammed full of files you really don’t need. The less stuff that’s on your hard drive, the faster your computer will be.

The best way to free up space on your PC is with the Windows® Disk Cleanup utility. To access it, go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup. You might need to specify which drive you want to clean.

In the Disk Cleanup box, scroll through the content of the Files to delete list and check the items you want to remove. If you’re not sure what to get rid of, the safest bets are temporary Internet files and programmes you’ve installed that you no longer use. When you’re done, click OK.

If you don’t want to delete files altogether, such as things like photos and music or video files,  consider moving them to an external hard drive.

2. Get rid of visual effects
Windows Vista® comes with some cool visual effects, but they can drain system resources. Disabling some will speed your system. To do this, click on the Start button, and then Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Performance Information and Tools.

Click on Adjust Visual Effects. You may be asked to enter an administrator password. Then click on the Visual Effects tab, and select Adjust for Best Performance. Then click OK.

3. Scan for viruses and spyware
One of the main culprits of sluggish PC performance is malware: viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, worms, and other kinds of malicious unwanted software. If you don’t already have some kind of antivirus protection installed, you should do so right away! Consider using Microsoft Windows Defender, which is included in Windows Vista, and is available as a free download for Microsoft XP SP2. Make sure to schedule an automatic virus scan at least once a month. You should also always keep a firewall running to help block malware from getting to your PC in the first place.

4. Add more RAM (the easy way)
Adding system memory (also known as RAM, or random access memory) can be a good way to improve a PC’s performance. However, upgrading memory can sometimes be difficult and costly. Windows Vista now offers Windows ReadyBoost, which allows you to add memory without having to install anything. It allows you to use a flash memory device, such as a USB flash drive or a secure digital (SD) memory card, as an additional memory cache.

5. Run a defragmentation utility
Disk Defragmenter is a Windows utility that consolidates files and folders on your computer’s hard disk so that each occupies a single space, which in turn speeds up reading and writing to the disk.

To defragment your hard drive, go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter, then select the drive you want to defragment. Then go to Settings and make sure there’s a tick beside the two options in the section When defragmenting my hard drive, then click OK twice to begin. When the defragmentation is done, you’ll probably have to reboot your computer.

After following these tips, you should notice an improvement in your computer’s performance.

Microsoft, Windows and Windows Vista are US registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

Avoid Identity Theft and Online Fraud


“How to safeguard yourself from online fraud – an overview and precautions”

“Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done”. This famous quote by Andy Rooney elucidates the significance of online computing and its wise usage.

It has seen that computer usage is proportionately linked with social responsibility and social responsiveness; it is same as pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in medicine science; what medicine can do to human body and how human body can react for or against that particular medicine composition.

According to Forrester, report online frauds are growing by 20% each year.

I rarely use online transaction, and if I use them then I make sure that the transaction is completed without any compromises or shortfall. Recently I was planning to buy another Digital SLR to add value to my photography passion. I wanted to buy Nikon D60 with Lens kit. After checking all the online and offline options, I found out that the Bestbuy stores are selling these Cameras at very reasonable price than any other vendors such as Tigerdirect, Future-shop, Sears, Black’s and Wal-Mart. Nevertheless curiosity being my second nature I wanted to get much better online deal.

I googled the phrase “cheepest nikon D60”.
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It routed me to this website where I was getting Nikon D60 Body @ US$ 279.00 and Nikon D60 body w/ 18 – 55mm VR lens kit @ US$359.00. It was unbelievable offer. It was really too good to be true. Therefore, I wanted to do some online research about this site. I clicked on the first link..

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Ideally, whenever I perform online transaction I either go with reputed brand or do my standard procedure of scrupulous research. I suggest everyone to follow mentioned below steps for scam free safe online transaction:

Step One:
Type this phrase in the Google search bar “Fraud or scam+company name”.

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As above, you can see that Goggle has populated 12,500 pages in .09 sec.

Step Two:
Click on the first page that exactly matches the word in phrase. These pages depict live experience of the user or victim. They convey their message via Forum, blog or some portal. Please note; It may possible that the company is not fraud or related to direct scam nevertheless mentioned below remarks are genuine customer experiences. This shows that their processes are not streamlined and they are less concern about TCE (Total Customer Experince).

Few user comments are print screened here.

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Above-mentioned steps are the primary, easiest and inexpensive way to save ourselves, and fight against online scam and fraud.

Analysts and pundits agree that cyber crime, fraud and scam remains a serious, costly and growing problem. Fraud solutions that focus only on the behaviour of the criminal fall short because they neglect a critical dimension of the problem: the identification of the device used to perpetrate the crime. The emergence of social awareness is must for customers and companies to reliably capture first-time fraud while at the same time accurately recognize valuable returning customers.

Few facts, which you should know about online fraud, scams and con artists, are mentioned below:

FACT # 1: Fraud is the number one crime against seniors.
RIGHT – Some seniors are lonely, vulnerable, home during the day and trusting. Moreover, they are perceived to have money. This makes them very good targets for frauds and scams. However, fraud no longer discriminates based on age. Anyone is a target and could become a victim.

FACT # 2: Con artists target people with lots of money to lose.
WRONG – Con artists do not care how much money you have. They just want all of it. If they can get $100 from 100 people that is $10,000. Not bad for a day or two of work. Billions of dollars are lost every year to frauds and scams.

FACT # 3: Con artists give the impression that they are friendly, helpful and trustworthy and will not usually use physical violence.
RIGHT: True The old saying, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” certainly applies. While a con artist may pester someone to buy something or convince them to invest hard earned savings, he or she does not want to be noticed by police. Physical violence will usually bring the police. The con artist knows an easier target is always around the corner.

FACT # 4: When a company gives information in writing you can be sure no fraud will occur.
WRONG: Anyone with a computer can create official looking documents designed to convince people a company is legitimate. Ask to see a business license and references and then CHECK IT OUT. Call information. Check the yellow pages. Visit the offices of the company if you can. Make sure you know who you are doing business or buying stuffs with.

FACT # 5: If I only lose a small amount of money, then I am not a victim. I just made a mistake and should learn a lesson.
WRONG: All frauds should be reported, even if you are embarrassed or feel the amount of money is too small to worry about. You may not get your money back but the more information the fraud investigators have the easier it is to start tracking people down and put a case together. Report frauds to your local police or PHONEBUSTERS. If you have a concern about a business transaction, contact your local provincial consumer ministry or bank for more inforamation.

Scams such as Spoofing and Phishing to commit identity theft are becoming more prevalent these days. Protecting your personal information from identity theft is a crucial matter and there are many ways the unscrupulous can gain access to such information. Identity theft involves the use of your personal information – such as your name, Social Security number, credit card or bank account numbers, or other identifying information – by someone else, to commit fraud or other crimes.

•    E-mail Phishing – Involves you receiving an e-mail that appears to be from a legitimate company, such as Bank or social networking sites. It may even include the company’s logo and a link to an Internet address that looks appropriate. This e-mail directs you to link to a website where you are to supply account or personal information. However, simply clicking the link could secretly install software on your computer. The software may infect your computer with a virus or record and transmit everything you type, including passwords.

Additionally, the website you link to may be spoofing the correct Internet site.

•    Website Spoofing – Involves you trying to visit a website but accidentally keying-in or linking-to a different address. This may lead you to a website that mimics the legitimate site that you were trying to visit. The spoof Internet site may route whatever information you provide to criminals. This can include your account numbers, Social Security Numbers, credit card information, passwords and personal identification numbers. To make spoof sites seem legitimate, criminals may use the logos, graphics, names and code of the real company’s site. They also may attempt to fake the URL that appears in the address field at the top of your browser window and the padlock that appears in the lower right corner.

Take Control

The best advice is to be cautious and take control of your personal information.

Protect Yourself Online
•    Do not reply to an e-mail or pop-up message asking for personal or financial information. Legitimate companies will never ask for personal or financial information via an e-mail or pop-up message.
•    Don’t e-mail personal or financial information. If you initiate a transaction, look for indicators that the message is secured, which can be validated by a lock icon. Most e-mail programs do not provide confidentiality via encryption.
•    Use bookmarks to access known sites to avoid being lured to imposter sites
•    Use updated anti-virus software. Some phishing emails contain viruses and software that can harm your computer.

Other Ways To Protect Yourself
•    Shred unwanted documents that contain personal information.
•    Review credit card and bank statements immediately for unauthorized charges and contact the company if statements are more than a few days late.
•    Don’t leave mail in your mailbox.
•    Memorize your Social Security number instead of carrying it with you.
•    Don’t write down your passwords, and don’t use birth dates or names of family members as passwords.
•    Take your receipts from ATMs, gas pumps, etc.
•    Report lost or stolen credit and debit cards immediately!

Review Your Credit Report
Every citizen should obtain a copy of their credit report for review at least once a year:
•    Equifax – http://www.equifax.com; 1-800-685-1111
•    Experian – http://www.experian.com; 1-888-397-3742
•    TransUnion – http://www.transunion.com; 1-800-916-8800

Get More Information
For additional information on phishing and identity theft, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s Website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft.

Important Contact Information if You’ve Been a Victim of Identity Theft

U.S. Government Agencies

•    Federal Trade Commission
Identity Theft Clearing House
Hotline: 877-438-4338
IDD: 202-326-2502
Website: http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/
•    Social Security Administration
Fraud Hotline: 800-269-0271
Credit Reporting Agencies
•    Experian
To request a credit report and/or to report fraud: 888-397-3742
Website: http://www.experian.com
•    Equifax
To request a credit report: 800-685-1111 Option 4
To report fraud: 800-525-6285
Website: http://www.equifax.com
•    TransUnion Corporation
To request a credit report: 800-916-8800
To report fraud: 800-680-7289
Website: www.transunion.com

Careful next time when you use Networking Site: Orkut, Facbook and Twitter


phishingThere is a new phishing scam making the hoola hoop at Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites.

What is Phishing?

It is an act of sending an e-mail or message to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.

The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has.

The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information. These latest phishing frauds tempt you to click on a link with a message that goes something like, “hey! Check out this funny blog about you…” When you click on the link to the website, it will look like the login page for a legitimate website (say, Twitter, facebook or orkut), and asks you for your username and password. The result is the scammer hijacks your account.

A Facebook or Orkut member (let’s say you) receives a message that appears to come from a friend and tells you how amazing you look in a new video. To see that video, you are told to click on a link, which deviously takes you away to a compromised site that tricks you into updating your Flash software to upoad a FLV file or SWF file. Your attempt at an honest update enables an executable file that installs the Koobface worm, which installs a proxy server that redirects Web searches and enables ad hijacking and click fraud.

What is Koobface Worm?

Koobface spreads when a user accesses his/her MySpace or Facebook account. The worm creates a range of commentaries to friends’ accounts. Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.b, which targets Facebook users, creates spam messages and sends them to the infected users’ friends via the Facebook site. The messages and comments include texts such as Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf On The Street; Examiners Caught Downloading Grades From The Internet; Hello; You must see it!!! LOL. My friend catched you on hidden cam; Is it really celebrity? Funny Moments and many others.

Messages and comments on MySpace and Facebook include links to http://youtube.%5Bskip%5D.pl. If the user clicks on this link, she or hkaboome is redirected to http://youtube.%5Bskip%5D.ru, a site that ostensibly contains a video clip. If the user tries to watch it, a message appears saying that s/he needs the latest version of Flash Player in order to watch the clip. However, instead of the latest version of Flash Player, a file called codecsetup.exe is downloaded to your machine; this file is also a network worm. The result is that users who have come to the site via Facebook will have the MySpace worm downloaded to their machines, and vice versa.

While the end result of the Twitter and Facebook phishing scams do different things — one hijacks your Twitter account, one downloads malicious software to your computer — the initial hook is similar. They both send you a message from a “friend”, claiming to have seen a photo or video of you. This hook is especially effective because it piques victims’ curiosity (who wouldn’t want to see videos of themselves?) while preying on their trust of social networking “friends”.

To protect yourself from this and other phishing scams please follow the mentioned below URL or click the image:-

http://www.tippingpoint.com/pdf/resources/datasheets/400951-001_Phishing.pdf

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USB Missile Launcher..


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I know Friends!!! Just what you’ve always wanted…a missile launcher that plugs directly into the USB port of your computer to relieve the extreme boredom of your working day!

What better way to waste away the hours in the office or get some of your own back on the office idiot or a colleague you need a bit of retribution with? In fact, we think this USB missile launcher is so nasty looking, you won’t even need to fire it to keep the pests away from your desk, the look of it will be deterrent enough!

Shoooooooooooooot NOW………..

The USB missile launcher stands at a massive 20cm tall x 15cm wide, which is pretty big by USB toy size as far as we’re concerned (and we would know of course)! Just mount the USB missile Launcher in a sturdy place, such as desktop or even on top of your monitor and bombs, or rather missiles, away!!! There is some ingenious software included to ensure your missile navigation doesn’t end up with the weapon in your boss’ coffee and is capable of panning 180 degrees and tilting up to 45 degrees…. ideal for hard to reach targets or stealth missions.

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This little desktop launcher even has real firing sound effects when launched and can fire missiles up to 5m!! Please note that the missiles themselves are made from soft foam, so no real harm can be done…maybe just some bruised egos!

What comes in a box:

  • Software included and is compatible with Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
  • Recommended for age 10 years and above.
  • Requires 3 x AA batteries.

USB Fan for Notebooks…


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Stay cool at your desk this summer with the space-saving flexible fan that plugs into your PC!

Stuck in a stuffy office with no air-conditioning all summer? Desk miles from the window? Don’t sweat – cool down with your own ultra-convenient, and unique, personal fan. This is a fan that doesn’t need batteries or a plug, because it plugs directly into your PC’s USB port! There’s no need for any installation; just switch it on and feel it cool you down.

The USB Fan is designed to save you both hassle and space. Its head is small but powerful, the rubber blades whirring at a surprisingly rapid speed for a pleasantly refreshing breeze. Best of all, the slim flexible metal cord allows you to direct the breeze in any direction or at any angle. You can fold the whole thing almost flat for simple storage, and if the weather goes cold, you can twist it into different shapes to amuse yourself, desktop sculpture style.

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With the USB Fan you don’t have to fork out a fortune in batteries, and there’s no need to worry about having a free plug socket or whether the cable will stretch. It’s ideal for small desks or office cubicles, and of course for making sweaty colleagues green with envy. Cool down and enjoy taunting co-workers with one gadget – that’s what we call value for money.

Measures 36cm when straight.